Your Story – Your Reality

Site Administrator | June 27, 2012

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Special thanks to Adrienne Toghraie of Trading on Target for the following guest post!

The story you tell to yourself and others about why you are not as successful as you should be becomes your reality when it becomes part of your mantra. When you talk about why trading is not profitable followed by viable reasons and evidence to back these stories up, it becomes more powerful in your universe.  Did you ever consider that these stories and how you justify them are the very reason that you are still struggling in trading?

Matt, a Forex trader, said to me that he was cursed not only in his trading, but also his life.  When I pointed out to him the fact that he was blessed with good health and had a great family, he responded by saying, “You know what I mean.”  What he meant was that he was not profitable in his trading results.  And while I understand the impact that losses have on a trader’s life, when a trader makes universal statements about his entire life, he sends false messages to his neurology. Your neurology supports you towards success or failure based upon the information that you allow to become true for you.

Matt went on to list all of the trades that went against him while he swore he was following his well-defined and tested rules. He did not talk about the wins, only the losses that his strategy produced. In recapturing the specific trades that Matt was talking about, I found that he was getting out of trades too early or moving stops to
give trades more “wiggle room” as he put it. When I asked him if that was part of his rules, he annoyingly said, “NO” and then justified why he needed to make those choices.  When I confronted him with the fact that he was not following his rules to the letter, he became frustrated with me.

Matt was making his story about being cursed a reality by changing the rules of his system as many traders do. The truth is that very often traders do not realize that they are breaking their own rules, even when it is pointed out to them.

Here are some guidelines to follow if you are telling tales of how you are cursed or unlucky at trading:

Start listening to the stories you tell others about your losses in trading.

  1. Go over every loss and check to see if you followed
    your strategy to the letter.  (It’s a good idea to go over your rules and the losses with someone who would understand your system, because you might not see the obvious).
  2. If you are following your rules to the letter and are losing consistently, then you need to revisit your trading strategy in your Trading Business Plan
  3.  If you do not have a Trading Business Plan – then this is part of the problem. Traders who do not have a plan for their trading business can easily give find that they are not being accountable to their strategy.
  4.  If you are not following your rules, then change your story, and if you cannot do it yourself seek help.

Anyone can justify stories with concrete evidence of why trading is not working and make it true for them.  If you are such a person, rather than debate and justify, consider changing your story and make it an affirmation to what you want your trading to be such as:

“I am in the process of becoming the best trader I can be, and I learn from all of the lessons along the way, and as a result, I follow my rules to the letter.”

Taking this new position could jump start your trading to higher profits.

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Risk Disclaimer: Past performance is not indicative of future results. Futures trading involves substantial financial risk. Views of guest commentators do not represent those of Article intended for educational purposes only and not meant in anyway as a solicitation to buy or sell certain securities. Please consult your personal financial adviser before using this information for your own trading purposes.